Bamboo is a member of the grass family. Altogether there are well over 1,500 species of bamboo. Being that there are so many species of bamboo learning the classification system helps develop a knowledge of the various types of bamboo without trying to learn all 1,500 types.
Bamboo is divided into 3 tribes of plants which are temperate woody bamboo, tropical woody bamboo, and herbaceous bamboo.
Tropical woody bamboo has the most members with over 900 species while temperate woody bamboo includes almost 600 species and herbaceous bamboo includes about 130 members.
Temperate Woody Bamboo
Temperate woody bamboo is a considered to be a tribe of bamboo labeled Arundinarieae. Temperate woody bamboo species are native to North America, Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. There are 30 genera of temperate woody bamboo.
Tropical Woody Bamboo
Tropical woody bamboo is classified into the scientific tribe of Bambuseae. This is the most diverse tribe of the 3 tribes of bamboo. There are 68 genera of bamboo within the tribe of Bambuseae. Tropical woody bamboo is native to tropical regions across the globe.
Herbaceous bamboo is labeled scientifically as the tribe of Olyreae. The majority of herbaceous bamboo is native to South America with a couple species being native to Africa. There are 21 genera of bamboo within the tribe of Olyreae.